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Recreational Opium Use among 18-25 Year-Olds

Recreational Opium Use among 18-25 Year-OldsFound in the seeds of the opium poppy, opium is a naturally occurring substance that is frequently abused. Opium and heroin, which is derived from opium, are not prescribed medications; however, morphine and codeine are. Between the prescribed and recreational use of opium and its derivatives, there is a strong potential for abuse.

Methods of Use

Smoking, eating, and drinking are the common methods of use for opium. Opium works the fastest when smoked because the opiate chemicals are inhaled into the lungs, absorbed quickly by the blood vessels, and sent to the brain. When eaten or consumed in a liquid, the opium must pass through the stomach, intestines, and liver. This process of digestion actually weakens the drug before it gets absorbed by the bloodstream and then processed to the brain.

Effects of Opium

People who abuse opium experience a rush of pleasure, followed by an extended period of relaxation, freedom from anxiety, and the relief of physical pain. Because of these desired effects, people continue to use the drug but gradually develop a tolerance to it. In those cases, people need to take more opium to receive the desired effects. As people become accustomed to the effects of opium, the brain becomes rewired and believes that opium is required for them to feel normal. Between the tolerance and dependence on the drug, many people become addicted.

Opium Withdrawal Symptoms

When a person chooses to withdrawal from opium, they can expect to experience symptoms for at least three to five days including the following:

  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Yawning
  • Muscle pains
  • Involuntary motion
  • Anxiety and agitation
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Cold sweats
  • Cramps
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mood swings
  • Insomnia
  • Depression

Any one of these symptoms may not be alarming, but in combination may become quite difficult to manage. Many people are not successful in withdrawing from the drug without medical intervention.

Severe Effects of Opium

Ongoing, consistent use of opium puts people at risk because many people need to increase the amount of opium they use to get the benefit they want. In addition, when people inject the drug, the effects are instantaneous and irreversible which can put a person at risk for severe effects including the following:

  • Respiratory depression
  • Confusion
  • Restlessness
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Cold skin
  • Clammy skin
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Weakness
  • Irregular breathing
  • Seizures

All of these symptoms require medical intervention and many of the symptoms are life threatening.

Recreational Opium Use

According to the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), opium is categorized as a pain reliever and the largest population of pain reliever-dependent persons were aged 26 or older and about one third were aged 18 to 25. In the period from 2002 to 2010, the number of persons receiving specialty substance use treatment for misuse of pain relievers more than doubled with 25.9 percent being between the ages of 18 to 25. The number of emergency room visits involving nonmedical use of narcotic pain relievers also doubled.

Get Help for Opium Addiction

Opium is frequently abused by young adults. Tolerance and dependence can sneak up on people without them even realizing. If you have become dependent on opium, you are spiraling towards addiction. If you are addicted to opium, you need help. In both situations, we can help. Please call our toll free number today. We are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about opium addiction treatment.